Fruits Like Olives (7 Substitutes that Look and Taste Similar)

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Fruits Like Olives

If you’re a fan of briny, salty snacks, you’ve probably been wondering whether there are other fruits like olives out there to enjoy. Well, you’re in luck. Read on to discover our list of 7 other tasty fruits for you to try out!

1. Capers

You may have had capers in a delicious pasta puttanesca before and just fell in love with them. Who wouldn’t? Each of these tiny nuggets offers a deliciously briny, salty burst with every bite. Much like olives, which so many of us absolutely adore.

Capers and olives compliment each other beautifully, especially in dishes like panzanella salad. Puree them into a glorious savory tapenade with olive oil and almonds, or use them to top carrot “lox” and vegan cream cheese on your next bagel.

2. Caperberries

So, if you haven’t tried caperberries yet, they should definitely be on your list to try out. If you like capers and olives, try to get your hands on these beauties. While capers are made from the unfurled caper plant flower bud, caperberries are the plant’s young, immature fruits instead.

Just like capers, the berries are brined or salted. They’re deliciously crunchy, and in addition to their olive-like salty flavor, they also have a citrusy note. In essence, you have something with a flavor somewhere between olive and grapefruit.

3. Green Peppercorns

Peppercorns—the kind you grind up to garnish your favorite dishes—are harvested from the tropical Piper nigrum vine. They’re black when ripe and dried out, but green when immature.

These green peppercorns are small, they look like tiny olives, and have a similar tart, salty flavor. They’re spicier than olives or capers, and add a great burst of flavor to anything they’re added to.

4. Avocados

Like olives, avocados are considered stone fruits. Both have delicious, nutrient-dense flesh that’s high in healthy oils. Where they differ is that avocados can be eaten raw, while olives need to be brined or otherwise cured before they’re edible.

Avocados also kind of look like huge kalamata olives, don’t they?

5. Jujube Fruits

Jujube fruits are native to Korea, China, and various other regions in Asia, but has been naturalized all over the world. In fact, some interesting species are also native to California, such as the desert jujube (Ziziphus parryi). The trees create small, drupe fruits that look like a cross between olives and small plums.

Since they’re not particularly sweet fruits, most people pickle them with spices and use them as condiments. In this savory, salty form, they end up being more like a chutney or Branston pickle-type garnish.

6. Pickled Green Plums

These beauties are incredibly popular as snacks throughout Israel and parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Bright green plums are picked early, when they’re still firm and incredibly sour. Then they’re pickled in a spiced salt brine until they look like golfball-sized olives.

You should be able to find jars of them at your local Middle Eastern grocery store. Try them as part of a savory snack platter alongside your favorite hummus, with crackers or toasted pita triangles, stuffed vine leaves, figs, grapes, and nuts.

7. Umeboshi Fruits

Since we’re on a plum roll, let’s take a look at Japanese umeboshi plums. Now, these aren’t true plums, but are instead the fruits of the ume tree. They’re more like apricots or peaches, and are magically transformed into umeboshi by brining them with salt and vinegar.

The result is a fruit similar to olives, with salty, umami-rich flavor and a slightly chewy texture. They’re really delicious, and make a great filling for onigiri, or topping for okayu (the Japanese version of congee). Best of all, umeboshi plums have a lot of health benefits, from anti-inflammatory effects, to keeping your digestive system in great working order.

As you can see, there are many fruits like olives that you can try out. Although a lot of people like sweet fruits, the popularity of these salty, briny fruits speaks volumes about their popularity too.

If you prefer savory or salty to sweet, then definitely put some of these wonderful fruits on your shopping list. If you have trouble finding them where you live, remember that you should be able to order cans or jars of them online. Then you can either try them on their own, or incorporate them into some of your favorite dishes!